What is the ASMA test (a smooth muscle antibody test)?
The anti-smooth muscle antibody test (ASMA) is a blood test that tests for smooth muscle antibodies (SMA). Normally, your immune system makes antibodies to attack foreign substances such as viruses and bacteria. An autoantibody attacks cells and tissues in the body accidentally.
Smooth muscle tissue in the liver and other sections of the body is attacked by smooth muscle antibodies (SMAs). If SMA is detected in your blood, you most likely have autoimmune hepatitis.
Autoimmune hepatitis occurs when the immune system destroys liver tissue. It is classified into two types:
- Type 1 affects more women than men. It’s also more common in people who have another autoimmune disease.
- Type 2 is a less prevalent variant of the illness. Typically, girls between the ages of 2 and 14 are affected by type 2.
Autoimmune hepatitis can be controlled with drugs that suppress the immune system. Early diagnosis and treatment of the illness yield the best results. Without treatment, autoimmune hepatitis can cause serious health problems such as cirrhosis and liver failure. Other names for smooth muscle antibodies test are Anti smooth muscle antibody, ASMA, actin antibody, and ACTA.
What is the use of the SMA test?
The SMA (smooth muscle antibodies) test is most commonly used to detect autoimmune hepatitis. It is also used to determine if the fault is Type 1 or Type 2. SMA testing is also commonly used in conjunction with other tests to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis.
The other tests include:
- An F-actin antibody test. F-actin is a protein found in smooth muscle tissue in the liver and other body parts. F-actin antibodies attack these healthy tissues.
- ANA (antinuclear antibody) test. ANA are antibodies that attack the nucleus (middle) of certain healthy cells, ALT (alanine transaminase) and AST (aspartate aminotransferase). The liver produces the enzymes ALT and AST.
Why do I need a Smooth Muscle Antibody test?
If you or your children exhibit signs of autoimmune hepatitis, you might require this test.
The signs include:
- Jaundice (Yellow fever)
- Loss of appetite
- Dark colored urine
What happens during a Smooth Muscle Antibody test?
A doctor takes a sample of blood from a vein in your arm using a small needle. Following the insertion of the needle, a small amount of blood is collected in a test tube or vial. When inserting or withdrawing the needle, you may feel a little prick. This is normally done within five minutes.
ASMA TesWhat should I do to get ready for the exam?
You do not need any special preparation for the SMA test.
Are there any risks with the SMA test?
There is no problem or risk with the SMA blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising where the needle is inserted, but most symptoms will resolve quickly.
What does the ASMA result mean?
If your results show a high level of SMA antibodies, it probably means you have the autoimmune form of hepatitis type 1. A lower amount indicates that you have the type 2 form. If no SMAs were found, your liver symptoms are caused by something other than autoimmune hepatitis. Your doctor will need to order further testing to make a diagnosis. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns about your results.
Is there anything else I should do?
You should know your test results, and if your results show that you or your child has antibodies to SMA, your doctor may order a liver biopsy to confirm a diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis. A biopsy is a procedure in which further testing procedures will take place.
ASMA testing pricing
Trusted labs follow a transparent pricing structure for ASMA testing. The average price of ASMA test in India ranges from ₹1500 to ₹2185.
The long-term effects of ASMA, particularly autoimmune hepatitis, are difficult to predict. The disease might be acute or persistent. If you have a positive ASMA test, choose a doctor who specializes in treating liver disease and autoimmune diseases.